Minnetonka

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Image of Whited Fen, a wetland in Minnetonka
Whited Fen, Minnetonka

The Whited Fen Restoration Project will protect and improve the nine-acre wetland along Whited Avenue in Minnetonka, through removal of invasive plants and re-establishment of native habitat.

Whited Fen is classified as a rich fen floating mat, a rare wetland type in the watershed. The wetland has unique native plants, including uncommon species like cranberry and cotton grass. Invasive plants are encroaching on these unique species. Without intervention, long term negative impacts will deteriorate the fen.

Project Goals

  1. Improve wetland health- remove invasive species like buckthorn and cattails
  2. Protect wetland quality- where possible, establish upland buffers to minimize erosion, pollutants/nutrient loading, and invasive species establishment
  3. Preserve wetland long term- Work with the City of Minnetonka and landowners to promote wetland education and community involvement to maintain and preserve the wetland
Image of native flowers on the shore of a pond
What is a buffer? A buffer is a vegetated area of land next to a water body that helps stop polluted runoff from entering the water body.

Project DetailsMap of Whited Fen

In 2022, the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District (NMCWD) completed a study that looked at all wetlands within the watershed and highlighted which wetlands are priority to be restored. The study identified four wetlands for further analysis, and ultimately the Whited Fen was prioritized for improvements first.

NMCWD believes Whited Fen can be protected with an adaptive management plan. This plan would include removal of invasive plants, establishing a wetland buffer with native plants, educating landowners on the importance of the wetland function, and creating a public amenity through a wetland viewing platform and signage on city property.

Project Benefits

  • Nine-acres of high-quality wetland habitat restored
  • Up to two-acres of new wetland buffer
  • ¬†Improved views and accessibility to the wetland from city property

Community Engagement

  • A community meeting was held on March 6, 2023, at the Glen Lake Activity Center regarding planning efforts to restore White Fen. At the meeting staff discussed why Whited Fen is so special, the planning efforts to restore it, and the public’s role in helping.

Whited Fen March 6 2023 Community Meeting Presentation (PDF)

  • A walk was held on June 8th to engage with adjacent landowners. Staff and a contractor from Resource Environmental Solutions further explained how restoration will work. A tour of a nearby habitat restoration served as a reference for the project’s goals.

Schedule

  • Landowner engagement held in early 2023
  • NMCWD Board of Managers ordered the project September 2023
  • Work with consultant, RES, to define project area and to identify zones of invasive species
  • Construction start depends on the completion of design, permitting, and access agreements with landowners

Resources

Whited Fen Wetland Restoration fact sheet (PDF)

Wetland Assessment Report (PDF)

High Quality Wetland Scoping, Prioritization, and Feasibility Report (PDF)

Questions?

Contact Brett Eidem, Natural Resources Project and Planning Manager, at beidem@ninemilecreek.org or 952-356-1999